The Kiwi is a unique fruit. With its fuzzy little outer layer and unique green color speckled with black seeds, it surely adds a punch of flavor to your mouth! The taste is almost, invigorating! A small 2-3 inch kiwi packs a whole lot of vitamin C as well. More than an orange, which we all tend to equate as the vitamin C king.
The Kiwi fruit is actually native to China. Its original name is Yang Tao (I think I’ll stick with kiwi). In the 20th century they were brought to New Zealand from China. Eventually they were re name Chinese Gooseberries (kiwi is still much more simple!). In the 1960’s the Chinese Gooseberries made it over to the USA. A distributor felt that America would love the tangy taste of this creamy little green fruit. But of course the name needed to be simplified and changed, and so the KIWI was born! Named after the New Zealand bird, the Kiwi, which apparently also has a brown fuzzy coating that resembles the fruit J. (Not to be confused with the chicken and the egg; the bird does not produce the kiwi!)
Kiwis are packed with phytonutrients. Research has demonstrated that it has an excellent ability to protect DNA in the nucleus of human cells from oxidative damage. Although researchers have not dialed in exactly which nutrients are causing this protective action, it would not be a reach to say that the high vitamin C and beta carotene in kiwi would be contributing. The bottom line is it is acting as a strong antioxidant in the body. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant in the body and is water soluble. This antioxidant activity can reduce cell damage and in turn reduce inflammation in the body. This can be useful for both arthritis and asthma as well as for recovery as athletes. Vitamin C is also an important element for a healthy immune system. Kiwis are also a good source of polyphenols and potassium. This little fruit offers a lot of goodness!
Kiwi is also a good source of fiber. Fiber is important to our health for helping to stabilize blood sugar and add bulk to our stools. It also helps us to feel full. Note that eating a lot of fruits and vegetables is a great way to feel satisfied and full due to their water content and generally higher fiber content vs processed alternatives. A diet high in produce will generally offer high nutrient density with a lower caloric intake.
How to pick a kiwi? When at the grocery store simply take one in your hand and gently apply pressure. If there is NO give it is not ripe. A nice give but not too much means you have a ripe kiwi. However if you take a non-ripened kiwi home and let it sit on the counter a few days it will ripen. To quicken this process place the kiwi in a brown paper bag with apples or bananas. Once ripe you can store your kiwis in the fridge. They will keep longer if you store them in a plastic bag with a moist bit of paper towel. Antioxidants are typically at their highest in fruit when it is fully ripened.
How to eat your kiwi? You can cut your kiwi in half and scoop out the inside with a spoon, or you can peel it and cut into chunks. You can clean the skin well, scrub the fuzz off and eat it as well. Yes!
Kiwis have enzymes in them that will tenderize other foods as well as the kiwi itself. So once you peel and cut them you should eat them soon after, (for example if you are going to put them in a fruit salad), to avoid them becoming mushy! Consider mixing kiwi, pineapple and oranges chopped up to make a chutney for fish or chicken dishes. Kiwi is also great with strawberries chopped and topped with yogurt.
Here is a GREEN GODDESS KIWI smoothie recipe for you to try!
3 kiwi fruits, peeled
2 bananas, small
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 scoop vanilla whey protein
2tbsp agave nectar/or raw honey
1 cup of Greek yogurt
1tbsp hemp oil
Add water if needed to blend but first try to add the fruit together and blend with the yogurt, then add a bit of ice and water only if required. This makes 2 servings of 440 calories, each with the following caloric breakdown;
Carbohydrates: 76 grams
Protein: 21 grams
Fat: 7 grams